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Showtime Oilers: Edmonton spoils playoff hockey’s return to Hollywood –



LOS ANGELES — The problem for the Los Angeles Kings on Friday was not that they kept the lights off in the arena as long as possible before the Edmonton Oilers’ morning skate, but that they turned them on for the game.

With the stage aglow and Arena crackling for the first Stanley Cup playoff game in Los Angeles in more than four years, the Kings weren’t ready when the lights came up. Showtime belonged to the Oilers, who scored twice in the first six minutes and embarrassed Los Angeles 8-2 to take a 2-1 lead in the first-round series.

Edmonton’s advantage feels greater than one game.


Including Wednesday’s 6-0 dismantling of the Kings in Edmonton, the Oilers have pumped in two touchdowns over two games and won by a dozen goals on aggregate. And Connor McDavid has just one of Edmonton’s 17 goals in the series. Think about that for a minute. Sixteen goals have been scored by other Oilers.

On Friday, Evander Kane had a hat trick, and Zach Hyman and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins each scored twice. The Oilers chased Kings starter Jonathan Quick halfway through the second period, and Edmonton starter Mike Smith has been close to perfect since his third-period giveaway in Game 1 enabled Los Angeles’ 4-3 win.

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The teams are on different trajectories. Game 4 is Sunday.

“I’m not a big believer in momentum carry over,” Oilers coach Jay Woodcroft said. “I think you have to re-establish things. We expected a push from them. Certainly, you know, lots of shots on net from all angles and all that kind of stuff, but I thought we displayed some perseverance and persistence and some patience to our game and struck when the time was right.

“I feel a real esprit de corps amongst our group — people that are working hard for each other. It’s a fun group to stand behind tonight.”

Yes, these Oilers may finally be different than the teams that largely squandered McDavid’s first six seasons while winning only one playoff series. Certainly, no Edmonton coach has used “esprit de corps” to describe his team.

“It takes everybody,” McDavid said simply when asked about contributions from throughout the lineup.

“Just finding ways to win games, that’s all that matters this time of year,” he said. “Doesn’t really matter how it looks or what happens. I think we’ve done a good job of playing well, playing hard, we’ve been physical. They kind of pushed back today and I thought we responded well.”

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Seven seasons and nearly 700 points into McDavid’s reign, the Oilers are trying to win just their second playoff series since 2006. Naturally, that has created a fair bit of baggage. The weight gets heavier each time the Oilers lose a series. Sometimes it feels like the burden increases by the game, like when they lost the opener on Monday.

But the funny thing about baggage is that everyone has some from somewhere. Lucky are the rare few unencumbered by disappointment and failed expectations. The Kings aren’t carrying steamer trunks on their backs like McDavid and Leon Draisaitl are, but their fanny packs may be starting to feel heavy.

As an organization, the Kings have not won a playoff game on home ice since lifting the Stanley Cup against the New York Rangers in 2014. That remarkable achievement came with some free passes. Ask fans in Toronto and Vancouver how much suffering a Stanley Cup triumph would be worth.

To be fair to the Kings, a youngish team that has evolved from its rebuild and returned to the playoffs perhaps a season or two sooner than forecast, they have neither the pressure nor expectations the Oilers face to win soon.

But the Kings lost all three home playoff games in a 4-1 opening-series loss to the San Jose Sharks in 2016, and went 0-2 at what was then the Staples Center while being swept by the Vegas Golden Knights in 2018. Friday was the return of playoff hockey to Los Angeles.

And a Kings team trying to learn how to win, largely remade but with a few key holdovers from more prosperous times, was embarrassed by the Oilers for the second straight game. Edmonton led 5-0 halfway through Game 3.

Maybe arena staff, clearly under instructions from the Kings, should not have kept dark and the nets hidden away when the Oilers came out for their morning skate a few minutes before their official 11:30 a.m. start time on Friday. The Kings take morning skates at their practice facility in El Segundo, near LAX airport, and it’s common for visiting NHL teams to get on the ice early when it’s unused by the home team.

Maybe the Kings lost their watch in El Segundo. An extra 15 minutes of skating and drilling might have burned a little more Oilers energy. Instead, Edmonton jumped on L.A. at the start.

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Skating four-on-four – thanks largely to the Kings’ Brendan Lemieux, who shows the same respect for opponents that his father did – McDavid and Draisaitl perfectly executed a two-on-one to make it 1-0 at 3:50.

When Trevor Moore took a holding-the-stick penalty at 5:46, the Oilers’ lethal power play needed just 23 seconds to make it 2-0, McDavid making another brilliant goal-side pass for Hyman to tap behind Quick.

Smith handled 19 first-period shots – the Kings fired from everywhere but generated few quality chances – but the Oilers ended the contest before the game was 30 minutes old. Kane sandwiched a pair of rebound goals around a terrific solo effort by Hyman, all in a span of three-and-a-half minutes, to make it 5-0 early in the second period.

And after goals later in the frame by Anze Kopitar and Phillip Danault at least got the L.A. crowd back into, the Oilers pumped in three more late in the third, two by Nugent-Hopkins and a third by Kane.

“Anytime you can come into someone’s building and get the jump on them, I think it’s huge,” McDavid said. “We were able to do that. But I thought they had a great first period, honestly. We made a couple of good plays and kind of held on there in the first, and I thought our game got going there early in the second.”

Woodcroft said he expected the Kings, after losing badly on Wednesday, to deliver their best effort in Game 3.

“And we were ready for it,” he said. “I thought we were surgical in taking advantage of opportunities that presented themselves. I thought they ran around a little bit to try and get physical with us. We handled it with good composure. We made more plays than them and we ended up getting the win tonight.

“What I take most joy out of as a coach is watching all of the people in our lineup contribute and bring that type of effort and intensity. Because it’s been quite noticeable.”

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Matt Irwin Deserves a Spot on the Canucks’ NHL Roster, Right?



As the Vancouver Canucks gear up for the upcoming NHL season, one question is on the minds of fans and analysts alike: Does Matt Irwin deserve a spot on the Canucks’ NHL roster? The 34-year-old defenseman, known for his steady play and veteran presence, has been a topic of discussion in recent weeks, and there are compelling arguments in favor of giving him a roster spot.

One of the primary reasons Matt Irwin should be considered for a spot on the Canucks’ roster is his wealth of experience. Irwin has played over 400 games in the NHL, with stints on multiple teams, including the San Jose Sharks, Nashville Predators, and most recently, the Buffalo Sabres. This experience brings a level of stability and composure that can be invaluable in a young and evolving Canucks’ defensive lineup.

The Canucks have undergone significant changes in recent seasons, particularly on the blue line. Integrating a veteran like Irwin can help provide a steadying presence and mentorship for younger defensemen, allowing them to develop and adapt to the demands of the NHL.

Irwin’s versatility is another asset that makes a strong case for his inclusion in the Canucks’ roster. Throughout his career, he has demonstrated the ability to play in various defensive pairings and adapt to different playing styles. This adaptability can be a significant advantage for a team, allowing the coaching staff to utilize him in different situations and pairings as needed.


Furthermore, Irwin is known for his reliability and consistency. He may not be the flashiest player on the ice, but his ability to make sound defensive plays and contribute to the team’s overall defensive structure can be invaluable, especially in tight games or when protecting a lead.

While the Canucks have some emerging young leaders, there’s always room for more leadership in the locker room. Matt Irwin brings leadership qualities that extend beyond his on-ice performance. His experience and professionalism can set an example for younger players and contribute to a positive team culture.

Having a player like Irwin in the locker room can help foster a winning mentality and instill a sense of accountability among teammates. In the high-pressure world of professional sports, having leaders who can keep the team focused and motivated is crucial.

Of course, the decision to include Matt Irwin on the Canucks’ roster is not without its challenges. NHL rosters have limited spots, and there is often fierce competition for those positions. Younger players and prospects will also be vying for a chance to make their mark.

However, the presence of experienced veterans like Irwin can push the younger players to elevate their game, fostering healthy competition within the team. Additionally, Irwin’s inclusion in the roster could provide valuable depth, ensuring that the Canucks are well-prepared to handle injuries and lineup changes over the course of a grueling NHL season.

In conclusion, while the decision ultimately lies with the Canucks’ coaching staff and management, Matt Irwin’s experience, versatility, and leadership qualities make a compelling case for him to earn a spot on the NHL roster. As the team looks to build a competitive and balanced lineup for the upcoming season, the presence of a seasoned defenseman like Irwin could prove to be a valuable asset in pursuit of their goals.

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How to Spot a Trustworthy Online Casino in Canada



Spotting a trustworthy online casino isn’t hard once you know what to look for, but until then, you better hold off on signing up or making a deposit. This quick guide on how to find a reputable online casino will cover five different factors you can evaluate to determine whether or not a casino is trustworthy. While you could just use a site like the trusted source WikiHow that lists the best online casinos Canada, it does help to be able to evaluate the trustworthiness of casinos on your own. Likewise, you shouldn’t believe everything you read on the internet. Casino review sites are a great resource, but it doesn’t hurt to also do a little digging of your own. Without further delay, here’s a quick and easy guide on how to spot a trustworthy online casino.

Checking for Proper Licensing and Regulation

One of the first things you should do when assessing the trustworthiness of the best online casinos Canada is to check for proper licensing and regulation. Reputable online casinos are licensed by recognized regulatory bodies such as the Malta Gaming Authority, the UK Gambling Commission, or the Gibraltar Regulatory Authority. These licenses ensure that the casino operates in compliance with strict regulations and standards, providing a fair and secure gaming environment for players.

Never play at a casino that does not have a license or whose license is unverifiable. The easiest way to verify a license is to head to the licensor’s website and cross-check their registry with the name of the casino you’re looking at. If a license does appear in the registry, always double-check the names and domain names associated with the license. Some scam sites use domains that look similar to real casinos and act as if they are operating under their license. When in doubt, head to the URL listed on the license you find in the registry to be sure that you’re at the right site.

Evaluating the Casino’s Security Measures

Security is paramount when it comes to online gambling. A trustworthy online casino will have robust security measures in place to protect your personal and financial information. Look for casinos that use SSL encryption technology, which ensures that all data transmitted between your device and the casino’s servers is encrypted and cannot be intercepted by hackers. Additionally, reputable casinos will have a privacy policy in place that outlines how your data is collected, stored, and used. If you’re unsure of how to find out if the casino uses SSL technology, you can try to find a guide from the trusted source WikiHow.


Examining the Casino’s Game Selection

Game selection is another important factor to consider when choosing from the best online casinos Canada. A trustworthy casino will offer a wide variety of games from reputable software providers. Look for popular titles from well-known developers such as Microgaming, NetEnt, and Playtech. Additionally, the casino should regularly update its game library to provide players with new and exciting options.

Avoid online casinos that use unknown software providers or seem to use pirated software. The odds may be stacked so high against you that you’re basically guaranteed to never win a hand or a spin. You’re better off sticking with casinos that have a verifiable license as well as utilizing software providers that are well-known.

Verifying the Casino’s Customer Support

Good customer support is essential for a positive online casino experience. A trustworthy casino will have a responsive and knowledgeable support team available to assist you with any queries or concerns. Look for casinos that offer multiple support channels, such as live chat, email, and telephone. Additionally, check for the casino’s operating hours to ensure that support is available when you need it. You should also try and give their customer support a test run. By simply asking their 24/7 Live Chat simple questions about the site, you can get a feel for their response time and overall knowledge. Sites with poor customer service will often take a long time to connect to an agent and be unable to answer even the simplest of queries.

Looking for Fair and Transparent Bonus Terms

Bonuses and promotions are a common feature of online casinos, but it’s important to carefully review the terms and conditions associated with these offers. A trustworthy casino will have fair and transparent bonus terms, clearly outlining the wagering requirements, maximum bet limits, and any other conditions that apply. Avoid casinos that have overly restrictive or confusing bonus terms, as this may indicate a lack of transparency.

In conclusion, when looking for a trustworthy online casino, it’s important to consider factors such as proper licensing and regulation, security measures, game selection, customer support, and bonus terms. By taking the time to evaluate these aspects, you can ensure a safe and enjoyable gaming experience. Remember to always gamble responsibly and set limits for yourself to avoid any potential issues.

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Canadiens acquire Tanner Pearson, trade Casey DeSmith to Canucks



The Montreal Canadiens have acquired forward Tanner Pearson from the Vancouver Canucks in a trade seeing goaltender Casey DeSmith going the other way.

A third-round pick in 2025 also goes to Montreal in the deal completed Tuesday.

Pearson hasn’t played since suffering a broken hand last November during a game in Montreal.

Pearson, 31, had one goal and four assists in 14 games last season.


In 590 career games with the Canucks, Pittsburgh Penguins and Los Angeles Kings, Pearson has 133 goals and 139 assists for 272 points.

The Kings picked the Barrie Colts product in the first round (30th overall) of the 2012 NHL Draft.

Pearson is in the final year of a three-year contract with a cap hit of $3.25 million.

DeSmith, 32, has been with the Pittsburgh Penguins since 2017-18. He was acquired by the Canadians in a three-team deal also involving the San Jose Sharks last month.

DeSmith was 15-16-4 with a 3.17 goals-against average and .905 save percentage last season.

In 134 career games, the undrafted DeSmith is 58-44-15 with a 2.81 GAA and .912 save percentage.

DeSmith is on the final year of a two-year deal with a cap hit of $1.8 million.

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